Moniek James (LATEST SHOT, USE THIS GOING FORWARD -- 03/24/20)

Moniek James

At the beginning of the year none of us could have predicted the “adventures” that 2020 would bring, and this has made it difficult to plan for the growth of our businesses. The world has changed completely from what we once knew, and priorities have shifted as we focus more on our health and that of our loved ones. We have to keep in mind that our customers are also dealing with those challenges, and their behaviors and interests will continue to be impacted.

Nobody can predict what’s going to happen in 2021 and beyond, so how is it possible to know what the best course of action is to stay relevant (and in business) for the coming year? I understand the emotional response is to create as much safety and security as possible right now, which probably looks like cutting costs and keeping everything else the same in your business. However, considering that every person on the planet has been affected by the pandemic in a profound way, I believe the answer for figuring out what to do can be summed up in one word: experiment.

Here’s my disclaimer: don’t put your business into financial jeopardy for the sake of testing new things, if you suspect that you’ll need to cut costs in the new year, do that now. Every suggestion I’m going to make for experimentation can be done without spending any money.

Have you noticed that your social media reach and engagement is down? Are your email open rates lower than before? Is it getting harder to build leads?

If your content has historically had a broader appeal, consider focusing solely on your true believers for the moment. This smaller segment of your audience will more than likely be more profitable for your business. What are you saying in your content? Are you sharing your authentic journey or are you sharing what you think are the “right” things to share? Think about using your humanity as a superpower.

Take your go-to platforms, is it time to try something new? If you’ve felt more comfortable on Facebook, give Instagram a try. If writing has been your preferred content medium, TikTok videos may bring more results faster.

The only way to know if something is going to work is to try it, and this year has taught us that being flexible is important, so let’s keep adapting and experimenting with our digital marketing in the new year.

Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at www.moniekjames.com where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.